For thirty three years, Queen Beatrix has lead the Netherlands with grace and beauty. Known for her warmhearted smile and ‘modernizing’ the royal house, she has been beloved by the Dutch people since receiving the crown from her mother in 1980. However, this year, at age seventy five, Beatrix is ready to give the next generation a chance to continue her work. King Willem-Alexander, the first king in over a century and Beatrix’s eldest son, was sworn in on April 30th, 2013.
Dressed in orange and proudly displaying their flags, the Dutch celebrated their first ‘King’s Day’ in style. After a full day of festivities, the Royal Family finished their evening by sailing the River IJ for the Royal Boat Parade. Passing various islands around Amsterdam, the new King was greeted with a few minutes of entertainment as they drifted past; from sport to dance, even opera. Reaching Java Eiland, the procession joined a crowd of twenty thousand and culminated with a regal, yet contemporary concert by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, with special guest Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren.
Peak Audio, with the help of d&b audiotechnik, was honored to provide the sound system for such a historic event. Due to the large crowd and outdoor venue, the d&b J-Series was used for the main array and subwoofers, with V-Series components for outfill and monitors. Given only one day for load in, sound check, and rehearsal before the big show, the team went to great lengths to design every aspect of the sound system, making sure they were ready for anything, even the Royal Family surprising everyone on stage.
“This is a project I’m particularly proud of,” recalls Will-Jan Pielage of Peak Audio. “It is not every day we get to work on a show for the new King. It was a tricky venue, because the island is just an open space. We had to be very intentional with directing the sound and setting up delays, so that no matter where people were standing they would be able to enjoy the show. With very little time at the actual venue, we used ArrayCalc to map out our strategy long before arriving on the island. For something as big as this, we wanted to be ready for anything.”
While the thirty five minute concert was televised and shared with all of Holland, the Royals enjoyed the event from the live audience. From the smooth instrumental sound of the orchestra to the bolder beats of the DJ, the system was ready for a wide range of music.
“As a Dutch person, this was a very important event, and it went off without any problems,” Pielage feels thankful for such a strong team and the quality of sound they were able to provide for such an important audience. “It was a once in a lifetime show, and everyone was very happy with the results. Hopefully King Willem–Alexander and his family would agree!”